Founding members are Jack Casady and Jorma Kaukonen. They made up a trio with the harmonica player Willow Scarlett. For early performances Paul Kantner and the drummer Joey Covington joined in.
Their first album, basically traditional blues and ragtime, was a live recording performed at New Orleans House in Berkeley in 1969.
In the 1970s, becoming a full time band, the style became more rock oriented. For the next LP, 'First Pull Up, Then Pull Down', the fiddler Papa John Creach and the drummer Sammy Piazza joined the band. After the LPs 'Burgers' and 'The Phosphorescent Rat' the band changed to a power heavy rock trio with Bob Steeler on the drums.